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UnderGround Forums >> Can Hioki break the UFC’s Japanese curse?


10/27/11 2:28 PM
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Underground News
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The Underground News, Editor
 

There was a time when many fans thought the Japanese stars of Pride were superior to the best Americans in the UFC. And maybe they were. With the demise of Pride, and the lack of a major promotion on Japanese soil, for years now the best Japanese fighters have joined the UFC amid great fanfare. They have invariably returned home with a diminished reputation.

Yoshihiro Akiyama
The middleweight was 12-1 when he joined the UFC in 2009. After scoring a highly controversial decision over Alan Belcher at UFC 100, Akiyama has lost three in a row.

Michihiro Omigawa
0-4 in the UFC.

Caol Uno
Dominant in Japan, but 3-5-2 in two stints in the UFC.

Kid Yamamoto, Takanori Gomi, Takeya Mizugaki
Combined record outside of the UFC is 60-10-2. Including Mizugaki’s five fights in the WEC, those three are 5-8 in UFC/WEC competition.

Shinya Aoki
Lightweight ran roughshod over Japanese competition, but  was manhandled by Gilbert Melendez in Strikeforce.

Now another acclaimed Japanese fighter is coming to the Octagon. Hatsu Hioki is 24-4, ranked No. 3 in the world by MMA Weekly, and fights George Roop on Saturday at UFC 137.

Hioki, who hopes to make a run and land a title shot against UFC champion Jose Aldo Jr., has a simple explanation for his countrymen’s lack of success in the UFC.

“It’s a different game, a different kind of MMA,” he said.

The primary differences between Japanese MMA and the Unified Rules are teh cage and elbows to the face and head.

Hioki fought three times in the Montreal-based TKO, beating Thierry Quenneville and current UFC featherweight contender Mark Hominick, twice.

“I feel like I’m as ready as I have ever been for this,” Hioki said. “Beating Sandro was a great confidence boost for me. He’s a very, very tough guy and to get a win over a guy like that, it let me know I was ready to make this move.

“I don’t know what it is going to be like for sure because I haven’t fought [in the UFC] yet, but I think I’ve done all I can do to be ready and to be the best I can be for it.”

Read entire article...


10/27/11 2:30 PM
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LayNprayNINJA
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 Yes he can. He will beat Roop, and get a #1 contender fight. He will win that but lose to Aldo.

You just watch :-)
10/27/11 2:30 PM
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mestregruber
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Hioki is perhaps the best and most well-rounded Japanese fighter to make that transition, but he has a lot of bad precedents to reverse.
10/27/11 2:32 PM
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mmavixen
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mestregruber - Hioki is perhaps the best and most well-rounded Japanese fighter to make that transition, but he has a lot of bad precedents to reverse.

 
10/27/11 3:29 PM
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hmeboy
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"Hioki fought twice in the Montreal-based TKO, beating current UFC featherweight contender Mark Hominick and Thierry Quenneville in 2008."

Hioki has fought three times in TKO, he beat Hominick twice
10/27/11 4:02 PM
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TX_432
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Nah Phone Post
10/27/11 4:17 PM
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Trojan Rubber Guard
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I think because Hioki recognizes the major differences between Japanese MMA, and American MMA, he'll probably do well in the UFC if he pushes himself to be Erik rounded in his training... Otherwise he'll go the route of so many other Japanese fighters Phone Post
10/27/11 4:17 PM
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Trojan Rubber Guard
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Well rounded* Phone Post
10/27/11 7:02 PM
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raoh39
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hmeboy - "Hioki fought twice in the Montreal-based TKO, beating current UFC featherweight contender Mark Hominick and Thierry Quenneville in 2008."

Hioki has fought three times in TKO, he beat Hominick twice


Yes, but 2 times in a cage. The first time against Hominick was in a ring.
10/27/11 7:04 PM
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The MMA Analyst
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Akiyama and Aoki were the only ones on that list who weren't dead on arrival.

And Aoki lost to what many are considering Top #1,2 or 3 LW in the world.

Learn how to write with accuracy.

Yamamoto was 1-2 headed into his UFC debut.

Last time Uno was relevant was 2002.

Omigawa has NEVER been big enough to fight at 155 and got ROBBED at 145 in the UFC.

What a joke.
10/27/11 7:07 PM
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The MMA Analyst
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Also, Pride died in 2007. Anyone who was killing it back then, was already a vet and probably at the end of their careers. NOBODY FROM PRIDE came with just a few fights and on the rise. They were ALL guys like Wandy, who were professional fighters for 12 years before stepping into "today's" octagon and were 50 years old in fight years.
10/27/11 7:32 PM
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Ip Man
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stonepony - It's about body-type. With the ancient martial arts history throughout Asia, and the population numbers, most successful MMA fighters should be Asian. They're not, because of body type.

That's what makes Lyoto so interesting to watch. He's got the Japanese half of his family, his father, who pushed him since he could walk and told him he's got samurai blood and that he must train. And, he's got the Brazilian half of his family, his mother, which gives him a bigger stronger body.

The best Asian fighters have succeeded through superior technique that compensates for body-type disadvantages. Like Sakuraba.
I think that Masato, Buakaw, Yodsenklai and several other fighters out there disprove this "Asian Body disadvantage" theory. Phone Post
10/27/11 9:28 PM
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hmeboy
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raoh39 - 
hmeboy - "Hioki fought twice in the Montreal-based TKO, beating current UFC featherweight contender Mark Hominick and Thierry Quenneville in 2008."

Hioki has fought three times in TKO, he beat Hominick twice


Yes, but 2 times in a cage. The first time against Hominick was in a ring.


Article didn't make that distinction, just said that he has fought 2 times in TKO.
10/27/11 9:35 PM
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Liquid8
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I've put my foot in my mouth so many times when I tell my friends about some Japanese fighter making his debut in north america and how amazing he is. I've been dead wrong so many times, while I watch them fall flat on their face.

Hopefully this final time with Hioki, I won't look like such a tard.
10/27/11 10:01 PM
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WRESTLENOW
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Okami already broke the curse.
10/28/11 9:53 AM
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Twelve Gage
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Roop by headkick.
10/28/11 10:27 AM
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RoidsGracie
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 I think Riki Fukuda could make some waves in the UFC too. He has a style well suited for American MMA - godo takedowns and top control, cuts weight, is physically string. etc. That's why I was surprised when he lost the dec to Nick Ring considering he took him down and controlled Ring which American judges love.
10/28/11 10:38 AM
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Grantman
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The only JMMA fighters I remember coming to the UFC hyped to see was Akiyama. Anyone who has followed MMA for awhile realized that Yamamoto, Uno, and Gomi where all WAY past their primes relative to their japanese years. Gomi and Yamamoto especially had severe dropoffs prior to even coming to the UFC.

Okami was very successful as a JMMA representative. He may have lost to Anderson but so has everyone else. Omigawa got robbed vs Elkins and lost to Mendes (who is also undefeated).

Akiyama came in massively hyped and let us down. Aoki came to the USA hyped and got owned via Melendez who is at least top 5 in the world so again, it's all a matter of objectivity.
10/28/11 10:42 AM
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Gsnitsky
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Roop by ko rd 2 Phone Post
10/28/11 11:12 AM
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Rafael135
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stonepony - It's about body-type. With the ancient martial arts history throughout Asia, and the population numbers, most successful MMA fighters should be Asian. They're not, because of body type.

That's what makes Lyoto so interesting to watch. He's got the Japanese half of his family, his father, who pushed him since he could walk and told him he's got samurai blood and that he must train. And, he's got the Brazilian half of his family, his mother, which gives him a bigger stronger body.

The best Asian fighters have succeeded through superior technique that compensates for body-type disadvantages. Like Sakuraba.
I doubt it has anything to do with body type.

It's because of their training. Japanese fighters need to have more diversity of fighting styles in their training. Japanese fighters need to come to US where there are many strong wrestlers. Japanese fighters tend to train with other Japanese fighters and their fighting styles are very similar, they are either judo or jiu jitsu practitioners and their striking is not impressive at all. Phone Post

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